Belgravia around London Victoria station is popular with tourists. Bus loads of them arrive every hour – winter and summer. If you’re looking for a quiet and in-with-the-locals pick-me-up you need to know where to go.
You could queue up with a handful of the more in the know tourists for the pleasure and Instagram-worthy nod to baking royalty of Peggy Porschen. This decorative outpost is one of a lucky circle of bakers to the stars. Their website boasts wedding and celebration cakes for the likes of Sir Elton when he’s in town. For the likes of everyone else – if you’re happy to wait your turn – you can sample their delicacies at the cafe, open til 6pm everyday. Given the recent Halloween season, you can still sample autumnal favourites of pumpkin, spice, chai and golden apple.
Or if standing on the footpath glaring menacingly at those seated to leave immediately isn’t your style, head a little further down Elizabeth Street to the delightful Baker & Spice.
The shops that line each side of this block include the penultimate milliner Philip Treacy and many adorn their windows with floral artistry. The front door step at Les Senteurs was so busy with Instagramming-model-would-be’s that the owners really should charge for the privilege.
Baker & Spice have daily fresh salads that all look delicious. And a number of instore jams and baked specialties, and they open for breakfast until 2pm. You can dine in or takeaway.
This section of Belgravia shouts out why tourists really need to get into the backstreets of any city they visit. It’s very safe; people who live here, do so for the anonimity. They’re well-heeled, well red and well-patient. Fortunately you don’t get the selfie-stick wielding sort here.
Where to stay
For the budget-conscious, check out B+B Belgravia just a few doors from Peggy Porschen.
For a little Victorian grandeur, The Grosvenor Hotel might be more to your liking, very close to London Victoria train and coach stations.
Best time to go
Combine a trip to the Chelsea Flower Show, held every May.